If you have ever talked to people who move abroad, then you’re probably aware of the ordeals they face. While some have no family to look after, many have to take care of their spouse and children. If you’re someone who’s worried about you life as an expat parent, here are the 10 most common concerns and how you can deal with them:
1. How Will the Children Adapt to the New Culture?
During the age of dependency, children begin to get influenced by their root culture. With a sudden switch to a new country, children find themselves stuck between two different cultures. Keeping up with two different cultures isn’t easy. So what can you do to manage?
Teach them your culture but also be open to accepting the ways of the foreign culture. There is always something good to learn from everything. Bringing balance between both cultures would only enhance the ability to follow two separate cultures at ease. Once your children are used to it, you will witness significant growth.
2. How Will the Children Be Nurtured in a Foreign Land?
With the lack of time available for your children, especially when they are only toddlers, the love and support they require at every stage of their early life will see them lose their potential to grow healthy and secure. The fear of finding barriers in your child’s personal growth is real but can easily be overcome.
Divide the duties and roles between your spouse. You can also seek help from foreign friends who are more than willing to lend their time and support. If you still face difficulty, you can enrol your child in a child development centre. Find the right ones available to free yourself from the worries.
3. How Will You Manage the Family Time?
The competition at work abroad leaves you with very little time to spare. Not being able to spend time with your family can leave you feeling anxious about losing your connection with your family. As a parent, you can always take the lead role to not let that happen.
Make a schedule of your work and always plan ahead of it. It isn’t necessary to find time every day so you can use weekends at your convenience. Plan a movie, lunch, or even a short trip. When you make memorable moments with your family, the bond between your family will grow and become more meaningful.
4. How Will the Children Connect With the Family Back Home?
It is safe to say that those who aren’t present in our daily life are usually easier to forget. The best way to connect would be to communicate with them. In today’s world, it’s impossible to not remain in touch with family back home, thanks to the Internet.
Use online chat platforms to connect with the ones back home. Help your children create a bond with the family back home by making them aware of the relationship they share. Share the stories from your memorable time with the family so that your children will have something to cherish. Once you take the steps to build bonds, your children will find meaning in the connection.
5. How Will the Children Turn Out in the New Social Circle?
The kind of people you socialize with tend to define your characteristics and taste. Due to this reason, you fear what kind of friends your child will make. Through some thoughtful measures, you can take care of it.
Move into a good and safe neighbourhood. Send your children to a diversified school to provide the option to find friends who share a similar culture. People from different countries use this to migrate and live in the form of communities.
6. How Will the Children Cope in Case of the Sudden Migration?
Working in a foreign country can mostly mean a lack of job security. If you get asked to leave, your family may find it hard to adjust to different countries. They would require adopting new ways of living, making new friends, and letting go of things that belong in the past. However, if you are well prepared, you won’t find it difficult to overcome.
Acknowledge the consequences of moving abroad and talk about it with your family. Guide them to learn the things they can carry forward and let go of the things that won’t be needed. Once they realize that they don’t have to let themselves get too attached to one place, they will find it easier to adapt to life in any country they move to.
7. How Will the Children Progress in Education?
The educational progress of your child is at risk when there is a constant change of schools. The changing environment not only makes the children lose focus but also has an impact on their future. A situation like this occurs when you keep changing countries.
To overcome this fear, put some focus on homeschooling. Schools provide systematic education but for the growth of your child, many things can be taught at home. Disregard the different subjects taught at school and focus on core fundamental subjects. It will allow your child to be prepared for different challenges that may arise at a new school.
8. How Will Your Family Overcome the Language Barrier?
For an Expat, the language is crucial to communicate and survive in a foreign land. Learning a language depends on the level of difficulty. Even though you might succeed in doing so, it might be hard for your children to learn it.
Start by communicating with your child in the languages of both home and host country. You can get your spouse to talk to the children in the foreign language. In this way, the children will efficiently learn the languages and continue their life abroad with ease.
9. How Will Foreigners Perceive the Children?
Depending on your country of origin, you are always being judged by the people of the host country. Show a good image of your country and end the wrong perception by presenting the right one.
Educate your children to be good, humble, and respectful. By continually contributing to society, they will gradually be considered a part of it. You can take this to a whole new level by socializing and making friends.
10. How Will the Children Deal With Homesickness?
One cannot truly eliminate the feeling of home. No matter which age group you belong to, you’re going to feel homesick if you’re leaving home. If you are an expat parent worried about your children being homesick, you can rest assured that there are remedies to ease the feeling.
Make it feel like home – you won’t get a lot of opportunities to travel back home, but there are places and people available from your country that will make you feel like you’re back home. Have your children talk to the family back home through phone calls or social media. Once they start to feel at home in the new country, the feeling of homesickness will disappear.
Being an expat parent can be challenging because kids are complex and you never know what they’ll like and won’t like. You have to make sure that they have the right friends and they’re going to the right school. You also have to help them with homesickness, which is very common in children.
Helping them learn a new language can also prove to be a difficult task. Many children are great at adapting, though, so hopefully, they won’t give you too much trouble. But if they do, remember that you have to listen to their demands and really understand them so you can help them out.